Problems, that is. So we’re expecting another, I guess… But more on that later.
It was a dry bright morning as we set off westward, but the northerly wind was cold.
We had about 2 miles of it blowing on our right side and often sheltered by the bankside vegetation. But then we passed Hindford Bridge and turned into it. The difference was considerable!
Approaching New Marton Bottom Lock
If you look closely you can just see another boat arriving at the top, the only boat we’ve seen on the move today. It was a hire boat, out for a few days from Blackwater Meadow Marina at Ellesmere.
Mags stayed inside, out of the bitter wind, While I worked us up this one then New Marton Top Lock.
The top lock
It was when I was leaving this lock that the first “issue” arose. I’d pulled out of the lock and stopped just clear of the gate to close it. I hadn’t realised, though, that Seyella was drifting backwards, at least until I felt a resistance to the swinging gate which then cleared. When I looked, the stern button fender was hanging askew by just one chain. The gate had hit it and snapped a corroded chain link.
I temporarily supported it with a rope from the bike rack, but it’ll need some surgery to refit the chain.
The second event was discovered when we stopped for water and I retrieved the hose through the tank-hatch. A long time ago I installed a drop down flap in the riser of the top front step to give access to a large space between the water tank and the underside of the well-deck. It’s here that the hose is kept, along with paint cans and some (it’ll come in for something) wood. The water pump is also visible through here, and, following a previous pump leak that caused quite a bit of local damage, is mounted above a shallow drip tray. The tray had water in it, a seal on the pump housing had failed and was leaking when the pump was run. If it had been downstream of the pump I’d have realised sooner as the pump would have been regularly cycling to top up the water pressure. As it was there was a little spillage as the water had slopped over the edge of the tray, but most was caught in the tray.
The water pump is an essential part of the plumbing, without it nothing comes out of the taps! So I sourced a new one online and it will be delivered to our friends before Christmas. Meanwhile I’ve removed and stripped down the old one, bodging the joint with sealant. It seems to be holding up at the moment. At least that’s Mags’ Christmas present sorted now…
I did this after we’d pulled in, just after Morton Bridge. We had intended to stop at the Poacher’s Pocket a little further on, but there’s a large tree been cut up on the towpath side just 50 yards away… and we’ve a bit of space on the roof!
Anyway, we’re just waiting to see what the third thing to go wrong will be. Just hoping it’ll be something insignificant.
Locks 2, miles 5